Fires: Netanyahu thanks Abu Mazen

November 27, 2016 by J-Wire Staff
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Michael Kuttner reports on the fires blazing across Israel while Israel’s leader thanks his Palestinian counterpart for sending fire crews to assist firefighters.

firesPrime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has contacted Palestinian Authority Chairman Abu Mazen and thanked him for sending firefighters to assist in extinguishing the fires. A spokesman added: “The Prime Minister also appreciates the fact that Jews and Arabs alike opened their homes to those affected by the fires.”

J-Wire’s Israel correspondent Michael Kuttner writes: “Driving home from Ben Gurion airport on Tuesday evening we were stopped by the police about 15 minutes from our town. Smoke haze enveloped the forest around us and we noticed that fire engines were hard at work attending to blazes which had broken out.

This was the first indication that the wave of arson which has taken a large toll on nature reserves and homes was developing. Since Tuesday there have been spontaneous outbreaks of fires up and down the country. Strong easterly winds combined with a total lack of rain have combined to make brush and forests tinder dry. If there would have been isolated outbreaks one could have put that down to carelessness on the part of campers and trampers. If there had been lightning, we could have suspected nature as a culprit. However the simultaneous blazes which have consumed 130,000 dunams of reserves in central Israel plus another 5,000 dunams in the north since Tuesday are no mere quirk of nature.

Police have already arrested 25 Palestinian Arab suspects and are investigating many more. Arab social media is full of joy and celebrations and although the fires also threaten Arab communities the hate filled scenes over the destruction of homes and trees encapsulates exactly how poisoned are the minds of those with whom we are urged to make concessions.

As at Motzei Shabbat (Saturday night) the situation is as follows:

Many fires which had been extinguished have flared up again.

More terrorists have been arrested some in the act of preparing to light fires.

Fire fighting planes from many countries have arrived to assist local forces. This includes the world’s largest plane from the USA.

The Palestinian Authority has sent fire fighting teams to help, no doubt cognizant of the fact that the conflagration could very well impact them.

More than 60,000 residents of Haifa have had to evacuate.

600 to 700 homes have been damaged.

Over 400 houses are uninhabitable.

37 have been completely destroyed.

No doubt once the fires are put out a commission of inquiry will determine all facts and a full report will enlighten us. Meanwhile the air is smoky and we are praying for the winter rains to commence.”

The Rabbinical Council of Australia and New Zealand (RCANZ) has expressed its deep concern for our brothers and sisters in Israel whose lives and safety have been threatened by fires, and is particularly alarmed over allegations these fires have been deliberately lit as acts of arson.
In a statement the Council wrote: “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the many thousands of fellow Jews whose homes, farms and properties have been damaged and we applaud the efforts of Israel’s brave firefighters who have and continue to tenaciously fight these fires.
We hope and pray that there be no further harm to the residents of Israel and that those who have suffered already be spared any further suffering. We applaud those countries who have to date offered assistance to Israel and we pray that such assistance will never again be required.”


3 Responses to “Fires: Netanyahu thanks Abu Mazen”
  1. Eleonora Mostert says:

    I’m a trained RFS firefighter (Specialist) and I’m available 24/7 all year round. Very cheap to keep. I meal a day and you can have me free of charge. Even have a little Krav Maga training to get stuck into the terrorist lighting the fires. Although I’m Hebrew I don’t speak it…. YET. Send me!… but please don’t send me back.

  2. Gil Solomon says:

    Even now as fires rage across Israel, Netanyahu said initially that there is “evidence of arson” and later “whoever tries to burn parts of Israel will be punished for it severely”.
    Punished for it severely!!!
    I’ll believe that when I see it.
    As a friend said to me recently, Israeli right-wing leaders often are spineless, whereas the left-wing ones are far from spineless in their zeal for a post-Jewish Israel.
    What is needed is ruthless action against terrorists, the head of which is the Palestinian Authority, the same crowd Israel has been sitting down with for years in the vain hope of conducting a so called peace dialogue with the deaf.

  3. Erica Edelman says:

    I have written a letter to our West Australian letters editor
    Remarking that 1. The terrorists are at it again and 2. That it
    Was positive (in a previous West article ) that the report indicated 7 countries assisted
    In trying to contain the fires. I’ll forward this one too.

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